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Your Ultimate Amelia Island Travel Guide: Top Things to See and Do

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

This a sponsored opportunity on behalf of Visit Amelia Island, all views and opinions are my own.

Welcome to my Amelia Island travel guide! Amelia Island is a beautiful and unique destination located in Florida.

This island has something for everyone, from its pristine beaches to its rich history and culture.

Looking to plan a trip to Amelia Island but not sure where to stay or what to do?

Whether you’re looking for accommodations or activities, this blog covers everything you need to know. If you have any remaining questions, feel free to drop them in the comments and I’ll be sure to reply personally.

Things to Know Before Visiting Amelia Island

Amelia Island is a small barrier island in Northeast Florida that offers a mix of history, natural beauty, and luxury amenities.

Before you plan your trip, there are a few things to know about Amelia Island to help make your visit as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

From the island’s history and geography to its weather and local customs, understanding these key details will help you make the most of your time on this picturesque island.

Here are some things to know about and fun facts about Amelia Island before visiting:

Location: Amelia Island is located in the northeastern corner of Florida, just south of the Georgia state line.

History: Amelia Island has a rich history, having been inhabited by Native Americans, explored by Spanish explorers, and settled by the French, British, and Americans.

Beaches: Amelia Island is home to 13 miles of beautiful, pristine beaches, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.

Weather: The weather on Amelia Island is typically warm and sunny, with average temperatures ranging from the mid-60s in the winter to the mid-80s in the summer.

Wildlife: Amelia Island is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including sea turtles, dolphins, manatees, and a variety of bird species.

Fernandina Beach: The charming historic district of Fernandina Beach is a must-visit destination on Amelia Island, with its quaint Victorian-era homes, eclectic shops, and delicious restaurants.

Festivals: Amelia Island hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year, including the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, and the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival.

Golf: Amelia Island is a golfer’s paradise, with several world-class golf courses, including the Ocean Links Course at the Amelia Island Plantation.

Amelia Island State Park: This 200-acre park is a natural wonderland, with pristine beaches, salt marshes, and maritime forests to explore.

Pirates: Amelia Island has a long history of piracy, with the island serving as a haven for pirates like Blackbeard and Calico Jack in the 18th century. Today, visitors can explore the island’s pirate past at the Amelia Island Museum of History.

Getting to Amelia Island: Transportation Options and Tips

Amelia Island is located in northeast Florida and is easily accessible by various transportation options. Here are some ways to get to Amelia Island:

Car: Amelia Island is approximately 30 minutes from Jacksonville, Florida, and is accessible via the I-95 highway. Visitors can also access the island via scenic A1A.

Plane: The nearest airport to Amelia Island is the Jacksonville International Airport (JAX), which is approximately 30 miles away. Visitors can rent a car or hire a shuttle service to reach the island.

Shuttle: Shuttle services are available from the Jacksonville International Airport to Amelia Island. Some hotels on the island also offer shuttle services to and from the airport for their guests.

Private transportation: Private transportation options such as taxis, limousines, and car services are also available to take visitors to and from Amelia Island.

No matter how you choose to get there, Amelia Island is a beautiful and charming destination that is worth the trip.

Top Accommodation Options: Where to Stay on Amelia Island for Your Perfect Getaway

The Omni Amelia Island Resort is a luxurious beachfront property located on the picturesque Amelia Island in Florida.

Boasting stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, this resort features 404 elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites, all with private balconies or patios.

The resort offers an array of amenities including multiple swimming pools, a world-class spa, 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, and a variety of dining options.

For families, there are activities for all ages, including a kids’ camp, mini-golf, and bike rentals. With its pristine natural surroundings and unbeatable location, the Omni Amelia Island Resort is the ideal destination for a relaxing vacation or a romantic getaway.

We were delighted to stay in the deluxe ocean view room during our trip, which can be booked at the regular rate of $399 with various package options available. I was impressed with the room, the stunning view, and the amenities that came with it, making it a highly recommended choice.

The deluxe ocean view room boasts an ocean view with either a furnished balcony or patio, covering an area of 425 square feet. The room is equipped with a flat-screen TV and luxurious bath amenities, providing a comfortable and relaxing stay.

Book your luxurious vacay here.

One interesting fact about the resort is its supposed connection to Indian burial grounds. Upon check-in at the lobby, visitors can appreciate captivating artwork featuring the Indians and learn about the artists and history behind the paintings. I found this to be a fascinating aspect of the resort that adds to its overall character and history.

Looking for an unforgettable beach getaway in Florida? Look no further than the Omni Amelia Island Resort!

As a travel writer, I highly recommend this luxurious resort for its stunning location, world-class amenities, and exceptional service.

Whether you’re traveling solo, as a couple, or with the whole family, the Omni Amelia Island Resort has something for everyone.

From its pristine white-sand beaches to its lush tropical gardens and nature trails, this resort is the perfect place to relax and recharge.

With multiple swimming pools, a spa, golf course, tennis courts, and plenty of outdoor activities, you’ll never run out of things to do.

But it’s not just the amenities that make the Omni Amelia Island Resort so special – it’s also the exceptional service and attention to detail.

From the moment you arrive, you’ll be greeted with warm hospitality and personalized service that will make you feel right at home.

So why wait? Book your vacation at the Omni Amelia Island Resort today and experience the ultimate in luxury and relaxation. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Home2 Suites by Hilton

Now if you’re planning a trip to Amelia Island and want to spend less on accommodations but still be close to food, shops, and the beach? I would recommend the Home2 Suites!

Home2 Suites by Hilton Fernandina Beach Amelia Island is a modern and eco-friendly hotel located just minutes away from the pristine beaches of Amelia Island, Florida.

This pet-friendly hotel features 107 spacious and stylish suites, all equipped with fully furnished kitchens, separate living areas, and plush bedding for a comfortable and convenient stay.

The hotel also offers an array of amenities, including an outdoor pool, fitness center, and outdoor patio with grilling stations, making it an ideal choice for families, couples, and business travelers alike.

The hotel’s complimentary breakfast provides guests with a variety of delicious and healthy options to start their day off right. Additionally, the hotel’s prime location provides easy access to the island’s top attractions, including historic downtown Fernandina Beach, boutique shops, and acclaimed restaurants.

With its modern amenities, prime location, and exceptional service, the Home2 Suites by Hilton Fernandina Beach Amelia Island is an excellent choice for travelers seeking comfort and convenience on their Amelia Island getaway.

The single and double bedrooms are priced between $100 to $200 per night, subject to availability. You can explore their rooms and amenities by clicking here.

Best of all, the hotel’s prime location provides easy access to the island’s top attractions, including historic downtown Fernandina Beach, boutique shops, and acclaimed restaurants.

And with its affordable rates and exceptional service, Home2 Suites by Hilton is an excellent choice for families, couples, and business travelers alike.

Unforgettable Adventures on Amelia Island: The Best Things To Do

So now that you know where you can stay, let’s find out where you can play on the island! There’s a lot of options for you here whether you’re vacationing with friends, family, or your partner.


Amelia Island Kayak Excursions is a top-rated eco-tourism company that provides guided kayak tours and adventures around the beautiful waterways of Amelia Island and the surrounding areas.

The company offers a variety of tours, including guided sunset tours, marsh tours, and birding tours, all led by experienced and knowledgeable guides who are passionate about the local environment and wildlife.

The tours are suitable for all levels of experience, from beginners to experts, and the company provides all necessary equipment, including kayaks, paddles, and life jackets.

Each tour is designed to provide an up-close and personal experience of the natural beauty and wildlife of Amelia Island, and guests can expect to see a variety of birds, dolphins, manatees, and other aquatic creatures.

The company places a strong emphasis on conservation and environmental stewardship, and all tours are conducted in an eco-friendly and sustainable manner.

The company also offers customized tours for groups and private events, making it an ideal choice for families, couples, and corporate groups.

Whether you’re a nature lover, adventure seeker, or just looking to experience the beauty of Amelia Island from a unique perspective, Amelia Island Kayak Excursions is the perfect choice for an unforgettable outdoor adventure.

Art Galleries

The Julie Delfs Gallery is an art gallery located in the heart of historic downtown Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida.

The gallery showcases a diverse range of artwork from local, regional, and national artists, including paintings, sculptures, photography, and mixed media pieces.

The gallery was founded by Julie Delfs, a local artist and art educator, with the aim of providing a space for artists to showcase their work and for visitors to experience and appreciate a variety of art forms.

The gallery is known for its welcoming and relaxed atmosphere, where visitors can browse the artwork at their own pace and engage with the artists.

In addition to exhibitions, the Julie Delfs Gallery also hosts workshops and events that provide opportunities for visitors to learn more about art and to connect with other art enthusiasts.

The workshops cover a range of topics, from painting and drawing techniques to art history and appreciation.

The Julie Delfs Gallery is a must-visit destination for art lovers visiting Amelia Island.

With its diverse and ever-changing exhibitions, friendly and knowledgeable staff, and commitment to supporting the arts, the gallery offers a unique and enriching cultural experience for visitors of all ages and backgrounds.

My mother and I had the opportunity to participate in an adult art class with the talented Julie Delfs, where we created our very own resin-epoxy painting!

During this class, Julie provided professional guidance on mixing and swirling the resin-epoxy onto a 12″x 12″ wood panel.

It was a fun experience as we got to choose our own colors and let our creativity flow!

We were delighted with our final paintings and Julie can even ship them to your home at an additional cost.

The class fee was around $90.00, which included the cost of shipping our artwork. You can click here to learn more about the gallery and the available classes!

Cumberland Island Tour

The Cumberland Island Tour with Amelia River Cruises & Charters is a must-do experience for nature lovers visiting Amelia Island.

The tour takes visitors on a scenic and educational journey to the nearby Cumberland Island, a national seashore known for its pristine beaches, untouched forests, and abundant wildlife.

The tour is led by knowledgeable and experienced guides who provide fascinating insights into the history, ecology, and culture of the island.

During the journey, visitors can spot a variety of wildlife, including wild horses, armadillos, and a variety of bird species. They can also explore the ruins of the historic Dungeness Mansion, once the home of the wealthy Carnegie family.

The tour includes a scenic boat ride along the Amelia River, passing by stunning waterfront homes and historic landmarks before arriving at Cumberland Island.

Once on the island, visitors have the option to take a self-guided hike or beach stroll, or to relax and take in the stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the island’s natural beauty.

The Cumberland Island Tour is an all-inclusive experience that includes round-trip transportation, park admission, and a box lunch.

It’s a perfect activity for families, couples, and groups looking to connect with nature and experience the unique beauty of the Amelia Island area.

With its stunning scenery, rich history, and abundance of wildlife, this tour is an unforgettable experience that is not to be missed.

During the cruise, you can enjoy the sights of Fernandina’s shrimp boats, historic Old Towne, and Ft. Clinch, among others.

The tour guides are knowledgeable historians, impressing me with their expertise on the island, the area, and its history.

If you want to experience this exciting cruise, click here to learn more and book your excursion!

Shopping & Relaxing

Amelia Island is not only a popular vacation spot because of its beaches, stunning nature, and historic landmarks, but also for its diverse shopping opportunities. From unique boutiques to locally owned shops, the island offers a range of options for visitors to explore.

Downtown has some of the cutest shops. We loved this one called "Go Fish" they have the cutest dresses and one of a kind jewelry.

Top Picks for Culinary Delights

Amelia Island is not only a scenic paradise but also a culinary destination with a wide range of dining options to satisfy any taste bud. From casual beachside cafes to fine dining restaurants, this island has it all. Whether you’re craving seafood, steak, or international cuisine, you’ll find something to indulge in. Let’s explore some of my favorite places to dine at while at Amelia Island.


Oceanside is an elegant oceanfront restaurant located inside the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort. The restaurant offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, making it a beautiful setting for a fine dining experience.

The menu at Oceanside is focused on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and features a variety of seafood dishes. The restaurant’s signature dishes include the Seared Scallops, the Pan Roasted Black Grouper, and the Grilled Swordfish.

The dishes are prepared with care and attention to detail, resulting in beautiful presentations and delicious flavor combinations.

In addition to seafood, Oceanside offers a variety of meat and vegetarian options, ensuring that there is something for everyone.

The restaurant also offers an extensive wine list, featuring a variety of wines from around the world that pair perfectly with the menu.

The atmosphere at Oceanside is upscale, yet relaxed, with a sophisticated décor and a focus on impeccable service. Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner for two or a memorable dining experience with friends and family, Oceanside is sure to impress.

Salt Life Food Shack

The seafood dishes at Salt Life Food Shack are a highlight of the menu, with options like the Lobster and Shrimp Mac & Cheese, the Blackened Fish Tacos, and the Seafood Paella. These dishes are prepared with fresh, locally-sourced seafood, resulting in bold and delicious flavors.

In addition to seafood, Salt Life Food Shack offers a variety of other options, including sandwiches, salads, and burgers. The menu also features a range of vegetarian and gluten-free options, ensuring that there is something for everyone.

One of the unique features of Salt Life Food Shack is the lively atmosphere. The restaurant is decorated with a beachy theme and features an open-air dining area, making it a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.

The restaurant also has a bar area that serves a variety of cocktails, craft beers, and wines.

Overall, Salt Life Food Shack is a great choice for those looking for a fun and casual dining experience with great seafood and a lively atmosphere.


Coquina is a high-end restaurant located within the luxurious Ritz-Carlton resort on Amelia Island, Florida.

The restaurant specializes in contemporary coastal cuisine, with a focus on fresh seafood and locally sourced ingredients.

The menu at Coquina is divided into several sections, including raw bar selections, small plates, entrees, and sides.

Some of the standout dishes on the menu include the seared diver scallops, the blackened Gulf grouper, and the herb-crusted lamb chops.

The restaurant also offers a selection of vegetarian and gluten-free options.

In addition to the main menu, Coquina offers a chef’s tasting menu that changes seasonally, allowing guests to experience a variety of the restaurant’s signature dishes in a single meal.

The restaurant also boasts an impressive wine list, featuring a variety of wines from around the world that pair perfectly with the menu.

The atmosphere at Coquina is upscale and sophisticated, with an elegant décor and breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner for two or a memorable dining experience with friends and family, Coquina is sure to impress with its exquisite cuisine, impeccable service, and stunning oceanfront setting.

Final Thoughts

I would highly recommend Amelia Island as a destination for anyone looking for a relaxing and luxurious getaway.

From the beautiful beaches and natural scenery to the world-class dining and accommodations, the resort offers something for everyone.

The Omni Amelia Island Resort and Home2 Suites are two excellent options for accommodations, each offering a unique and comfortable stay.

The various dining options available on the island, including Oceanside at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation, Salt Life Food Shack, and Coquina at the Ritz Carlton, are sure to delight food lovers of all kinds.

There are also plenty of fun activities and attractions on the island, including Amelia Island Kayak Excursions, the Julie Delfs Gallery, and the Cumberland Island Tour with Amelia River Cruises & Charters.

Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, there is no shortage of things to do on Amelia Island.

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